March 30, 2008 12:40:30pm
SUMMER of '74 - The Audience File
SUMMER 1974 AUDs
there are bunches of decent (not great) audience recordings from this year. but whether it is an AUD or SBD, it is the music they played that is ultimately compelling -- not the quality of the illicit or legitimately obtained recordings. i have never had a lot of 1974 in my collection -- but i have gone through the summer 74 AUDs rather closely and, recording quality aside -- i find this to be a very Hit or Miss tour -- some shows are great, others just plain terrible -- some shows are a mix of incredible highs and forgettable/eraseable lows! in particular, Jerry seems to periodically get lost, on almost a nightly basis -- and the jams are often very atonal, spacey and introspective -- as in, we're not talking about Disco Dancin' here -- some this stuff makes '72 Dark Stars sound downright happy. Playin in the Band remained the band's hottest, aggressive and successful vehicle for improvisation reaching new heights almost every time it was played.... often i must wonder zapping the band of some energy -- they are almost all 20 minute, serious workouts, and more or less all worth hearing.
the main 2nd set jamming vehicle this summer is TRUCKIN'>OTHER ONE>SPANISH JAM -- or at leas the nightly variation thereof. Eyes of the World floats between the Half Light and the Extreme Darkness at times, as Jerry seems ever prone to playing more dark and down leads, unlike the happy Eyes of years previous or subsequent. he seems uncomfortable with his guitar tone from night to night and seems to suffer more of being out of tune than i have previously noticed. i wonder if what i hear is what they/he heard that lead to the hiatus. during his stand alone numbers like Bertha or Deal or US Blues, he generally sounds at ease, but in the jams sounds like a troubled man.
all in all, none of this bothers me -- it is all part of the story of the Grateful Dead. and i find the struggles as intriguing as the triumphs. and what is struggle but that which makes us stronger and more wise .....can't win for tryin'.... nothing comes for free.5/12/74, Univ. of Nevada, Reno
- Set III is essential stuff:
Truckin' [10:06] > Nobody's Fault But Mine Jam > The Other One [22:#02] > Mind Left Body Jam > Row Jimmy [8:00] ; Big River [4:53] ; Ship Of Fools [5:36] ; Sugar Magnolia [7:25#]5/17/74, PNE Coliseum, Vancouver B.C.
: only a partial AUD is available and it's a little muddy but the Playin' in the Band is worth it, 22 minutes of straight GOO.
Of course, 4 days later, 5/21/74 at Edmunson Pavilion, U of WA, Seattly we get [...]THE LONGEST PLAYIN' IN THE BAND ever performed, clocking in at an epic, 46 minutes, 55 seconds of deep subconscious investigation (no, that's not a typo!) and that is after a fine Let It Grow and before the Eyes>Wharf Rat>Sugar Magnolia that would close the show.
pick it up at the Jai-Alai Fronton in Miami on 6/23,
(i find the show from 6/22 to be tough going, there are some decent moments, but it sounds like jerry had the flu or something -- not lucid) for a flawed yet interesting show. the setlist is packed with goodies, like the band knew they really struggled the previous night, and they are headed for redemption. they are not entirely successful, but an "A" for Effort indeed (Let it Rock, Cumberland, Ship of Fools, and the Dark Star are all top quality stuff, back on good terms with the muse):
Ramble On Rose, Black Throated Wind, Mississippi Half Step, Beat It On Down The Line, Row Jimmy, Jack Straw, Let It Rock, Cumberland Blues, El Paso, To Lay Me Down, Weather Report Suite Prelude-> Weather Report Suite Part 1-> Let It Grow-> China Doll
Phil & Ned-> Ship of Fools, Big River, Black Peter, Around & Around, Dark Star-> Spanish Jam-> U.S. Blues, Uncle John's Band-> One More Saturday Night, E: Casey Jones
another hit or miss affair occurs on 6/26, in Providence RI,
they finally track down inspiration in the second set when another China Cat gets firing on all cylinders -- jerry almost derails the train on the entrance to rider but phil and billy are not to be denied, they push ahead while jer tries to figure out what the fuck he's doing.... i know you rider slides in underfoot and they manage a triumphant transition, Phil digs in on the chorus vocal.... oh and Truckin' proves the GATEWAY JAM again, leading into a short OTHER ONE and a very long Spanish Jam.
so, it's been taking them awhile to hit stride, but the show from 6/28 at the Boston Garden,
comes charging out of the gate... (DP12)... Jerry seems to be back in full command of his axe and singing great -- no flubs in tonight's Mississippi Half-step opener. and all tour he's been singing Roses in in unusual spots, like as the first set closer the night before. and tonight he wants to keep going after he leads us across the lazy river...... and so "....annie laid here head down...." JERRY proves to be on his game all night too -- Deal, Tennessee Jed, Sugaree, Scarlet Begonias, To Lay Me Down, there is no stopping him.
Mississippi Half Step-> It Must Have Been The Roses-> Jack Straw, Beat It On Down The Line, Deal, Mexicali Blues, Tennessee Jed, Me And Bobby McGee, Loose Lucy, El Paso, Sugaree, Around & Around
Phil & Ned*, Sugar Magnolia-> Scarlet Begonias, Big River, To Lay Me Down, Me & My Uncle, Row Jimmy, Weather Report Suite Prelude-> Weather Report Suite Part 1-> Let It Grow-> Heaven Help The Fool Jam-> U.S. Blues-> Promised Land-> Goin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad-> Sunshine Daydream, E: Ship of Fools
the Sugar Mags>Scarlet that kicks off the 2nd shows the boys are just getting warmed up. and tonight the weather report suite would get things going and lead into an astounding, utterly unique post Let It Grow jam born of the Mind Left Body chords . unfortunately, the AUD only goes through US Blues -- a remarkable, DREAMY, yes, DREAMY version! i guess you need the DP for the whole enchilada.
the good vibes flow right into the next show, down the road a piece at the Springfield Civic Center, 6/30/1974
Don't Ease Me In, Black Throated Wind, Peggy-O, Jack Straw, Loser, Greatest Story Ever Told, Cumberland Blues, Dire Wolf, Playin' In The Band-> Uncle John's Band-> Playin' In The Band
Phil & Ned*, China Cat Sunflower-> I Know You Rider, Big River, Scarlet Begonias, El Paso, U.S. Blues-> Truckin'-> Eyes Of The World-> Stella Blue, Not Fade Away-> Goin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad-> One More Saturday Night
DON'T EASE opens the show, performed for the first time since 12/18/73, it would appear again on 8/6 and then disappear until 1979! likewise Cumberland would get one of it's last performances before the long layoff -- performed 4 more times in 74 and then gone until 8/27/81. Greatest Story and Loser too, would receive only limited attention in 74 and are included here, all leading up to the very nice Playin>UJB>Playin' set closer. BILLY IS JUST ON FIRE throughout this hot Playin' in the Band, really dancing behind the kit -- they shortly descend into some scary space before BOBBY slides Uncle John's in -- a truly smokin' jam is offered up on the way back to playin.
China>Rider and Scarlet Begonias get the juices flowing in the second set, and then they kick off the big jam with US BLUES>TRUCKIN! this must be the only time this was ever done -- and while there is not so much an improvised transition.... the two tunes are tied together very smoothly.... a steady well-jerry-jammed truckin' proves to be truly great jazz inflected road blues -- but gives way to more open, grassy terrain: Eyes of the World slowly takes shape on the horizon -- jerry sounds ready for Stella, but at the last minute gives in to a very leisurely paced Eyes -- but he needs a reminder, still unsure of the way to go -- Phil and Keith lead the way. jerry does a nice job on the vocals but does not sound fully engaged and ready to rip until halfway through the stronger than dirt jam.... he seems more interested in pursuing weirdness as the last 7 minutes of the jam heads for DEEP, DARK SPACE -- all setting up Stella Blue, at last.... a cascading, tender version "..... can't win for tryin'...." NFA>GTRFB>OMSN find the group back on sure ground, but jerry still sounds a bit dark and sinister.....
On July 21, 1974 we get on of the best regarded AUDs of all time -- and the show is quality too!
The Promised Land [4:28] ; Tennessee Jed [8:02] ; Me And My Uncle [3:35] ; Sugaree [7:17] ; Jack Straw [6:40] ; Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo [7:23] > It Must Have Been The Roses [6:24] ; El Paso [5:08] ; Scarlet Begonias [6:55] ; Around And Around [5:01]
China Cat Sunflower [8:49] > I Know You Rider [5:13] ; Big River [5:12] ; Row Jimmy [8:28] ; Playing In The Band [20:53] > Wharf Rat [8:54] > Truckin' [9:22] > Nobody's Fault But Mine Jam [1:11] > Playing In The Band [7:07] ; Ship Of Fools [7:36] ; Sugar Magnolia [9:39]
Encore:U.S. Blues [5:31]
here's the recently updated MOTB version
FROM HERE we get an amazing run of at least DECENT to GREAT QUALITY AUDS, each show from 7/29, 7/31, 8/4, 8/5 and 8/6 is avialable in an AUD.CAPITOL CENTER, Landover MD, July 29
don't miss the second set! He's Gone-> Truckin'-> Nobody's Fault But Mine-> The Other One-> Wharf Rat-> Spanish Jam-> Around & Around, Peggy-O, U.S. Blues, Sugar Magnolia, E: Casey Jones a splendid HE'S GONE kicks things off, played only 8 times in 74, it would not make it back to the regular rotation until May 21, 1977 -- JERRY finds the Light in the Darkness again -- his leads shine, his guitar sparkles -- shards of blue light emanate from stage right!
i find the AUD from 7/31/74, Dillon Stadium, Hartford CT
to be the worst of the final run -- but this show is smokin' -- get a copy of the SBD of this 3 SET MONSTER -- not to be missed!
we get a nice recording from August 4, 1974, Philadelphia Civic Arena.
you get the feeling you are kind of hovering over the crowd here and by the set closing Playin jam, the boys are just HUMMING! They get a fantastic group sound going -- you can easily pick out each player -- this is what people are talking about when they talk about the versatility of the ONE DRUMMER, tight jazz unit, turn on a dime sound -- there seems to be a high level of LISTENING & PLAYING here --
check out the splendid "re-entry" 20 minutes in.... WELL DONE!! the second set is kept on a tight leash -- with the WRPS providing the only jam territory -- LET IT GROW turns into a heavy Billy/Phil/Jerry workout -- with jerry letting fly some more lightning fast Playin' type runs.... a serious Tiger/meltdown ensues -- hope you weren't having a bad trip -- all setting up tonight's redemption tale = WHARF RAT rises from the smoldering remains of WRPS, "....old man down...." the second night of the stand, on 8/5
would yield another nice AUD, coming to a head with a killer China Cat>Rider to jam out the 1st set. (Jerry sounds fluid and light here.... no longer struggling as much as the push and pull shows from June.) the second set takes its time to get rolling.... and it's He's Gone that sets the pace leading again into Truckin' -- but as The Grateful Dead proved time and again, nothing is for certain, nothing is for free -- a long exploratory jam comes out of Truckin' that jams nicely before heading into aggressive other one territory before melting into a dream.....
heading up to Jersey City NJ, the band offers up one more long, hot show to bring the long summer tour to a hot and sweaty close: August 6, 1974, Roosevelt Stadium.
Bertha, Mexicali Blues, Don't Ease Me In, Beat It On Down The Line, Sugaree, Jack Straw, Eyes Of The World, Promised Land, Deal, Playin' In The Band-> Scarlet Begonias-> Playin' In The Band
Phil & Ned*, Uncle John's Band, Black Peter, El Paso, Loose Lucy, Big River, Ship of Fools, Me & My Uncle, Row Jimmy, Sugar Magnolia-> He's Gone-> Truckin'-> Drums-> Spanish Jam-> The Other One-> Goin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad-> Sunshine Daydream, E: U.S. Blues
Bertha, Mexcicali, Don't Ease are all great versions but then they get down to serious business with a super First Set EYES! time to stretch out -- Jer's leads are spright and sparkly again.... Promised Land, Deal and THEN, MORE! the closing Playin>Scarlet>Playin is as good and epic as it sounds like it should be. they truly seem to just fall into [...]Scarlet, like they all fell off of some space/time precipice and landed on another plain of being -- very funky and good to the last drop!
they run through a bunch of songs at the top of the second, with UJB, Black Peter being a real WORKINGMAN'S treat to kick things off. ready to jam again, it's up to He's Gone>Truckin' to get things going and they do not disappoint. stellar versions have preceded this night -- and after the epic first set -- and a long hot summer on the east coast -- the boys gave it all at this show -- finally sliding into GDTRFB after another foray into the darkness, the wistful feelings of previous years resound.
(OK, just make sure you check this 6/30 show --A FLASH OF BRILLIANCE and it has the BIG BIG FUN FACTOR BIG RIVER.)
i better do a better job better previewing this shit before i call attention to something so incendiary..... garcia, unexpectedly blowing smoke again! WOW...... and i am a donna lover too. but are you kidding me.....is this OLD & IIN THE WAY? what the fuck was that?
This post was modified by He Live's on 2008-03-31 06:55:08
This post was modified by He Live's on 2008-03-31 07:04:15
This post was modified by Diana Hamilton on 2008-03-30 19:40:30